100 Years Ago: The Rights of a Mother

If you browse through parenting advice and articles today, certain ideas pop up again and again.  Children are disrespectful.  Mothers and fathers are overwhelmed.  Parents feel like they’ve lost themselves in the process of being parents!   This is a new phenomenon, right?  We are assured by our parents and grandparents, and perhaps even by…

100 Years Ago: Advice for Fathers

Fathers are important.  Despite this, the past few decades have been rife with worries about workaholic fathers, absent fathers, distant fathers, all sorts of needs-improvement fathers!  It  must be a modern phenomenon, right?  Surprisingly, a century ago, mothers and experts were already worried about fathers and their role in the family. A full one hundred…

100 Years Ago: Mommy’s Medicine Cabinet

Last time I visited my grandmother, who is in her 90’s, she passed an old family book on to me, a copy of The Child Welfare Manual from 1915.  It had been given to my grandmother’s mother–my great-grandma–by her mother-in-law (my great-great-grandma).  At the time, it was the most up-to-date, cutting edge, in-vogue advice for…